It’s Valentines Day so I thought what better way to celebrate than watch three polygamous families try and navigate their interpersonal relationships. Because nothing says love like watching women pretend everything is fine. I’d say beware of spoilers but really, I’m not spoiling anything. Except maybe my brain.
But first, since I’m only blogging from episode 4 on, I thought you might need some background on our main players before diving in. The show follows three families, two Mormon and one just interested in polygamy, as they either adjust to or try and add another wife to the mix. They are:
Drew Briney (back center) has three wives: April (brunette to his left, married 20 years), Auralee (next to April, married 12 years), and Angela (they got married after 2 WEEKS of dating and been married now for 14 months) is the sought wife in the scenario.
Jeff (center) has two wives, Vanessa (right) and Sharis (left) and they’re looking to add a third.
Dmitri (right) is married to Ashley (left) and they want another wife because Ashley doesn’t want to have (as in biologically) any more children and Dmitri wants a large family.
Ok that’s the cast of players let’s get into it!
What: Seeking Sister Wife 1×4 “13 is Enough!”
Where: My apartment
When: Wednesday February 14th 2018 (but it aired on the 11th)
Why: Because I can
We begin at the Briney’s with Drew and April packing for their 20th wedding anniversary trip. April has always wanted to go horseback riding and that’s exactly what they’re going to do. She’s especially glad that this trip is for an anniversary as it guarantees her one-on-one time with Drew away from her sister wives. April admits that “things have been pretty tense in the house” but takes no responsibility for her part in that. Go team!
The other wives are not unhappy to see April go since she’s been super controlling and manipulative lately. They hope that watching her kids will be a way to make peace with her. I also have wishful thinking, it’s just mine involves eating a massive amount of chocolate and having my pants still fit.
Then we get this amazing dialogue from Drew where he admits that wives have told him to have a good time with whoever their on a trip with in order to “help her feel happy, so she’s nice to me when you get back”. Drew! This story is about April and you told it while sitting next to her on the couch? Yeah, good luck on that trip.
We leave the passive-aggressively happy Briney’s to check in on the sad Alldreges who have just been stood up at the airport. A woman named Melina who they had met online was supposed to fly out to Utah to meet them but she never showed and wont return their calls. Run Melina! They leave the airport and go to a restaurant to eat/process their feelings.
Sharis (wife #2) is actually really bummed that Melina was a no-show. She really liked her and was hoping she’d become a sister wife.
Vanessa, meanwhile, is very likely secretly delighted that Melina’s not here as she didn’t really bond with her online. She blames that on her pregnancy making her tired, but I’m not buying it. There’s no way she was looking forward to this visit and I bet she’s breathing a sigh of relief. She basically tells Sharis to pull it together but in an actually nice way.
Jeff’s deep thought?
We leave sadtown for Atlanta to check in with the Snowden’s. Joselyn, a 22 year-old from Seattle came to meet them as a potential sister wife. Did I mention she’s 22 and he’s 34? Ok just checking that everyone got the message. They had a successful group lunch date, so now Dimitri is taking Joselyn out on a solo dinner date.
He’s nervous in a happy/giddy way which is cute to see as a viewer, but I commend Ashley for not metaphorically hitting him in the head with a frying pan. He went to the store and bought every shirt option and we are treated to a fashion montage before he settles on an outfit. (It’s literally the exact opposite of this amazing Amy Schumer sketch).
But don’t worry, we are assured that this is a just a dinner date to see if they have anything in common (did I mention she’s 22?). Any physical intimacy is totally off the table until the three of them make a commitment to each other as a unit. So I’m sure that’s exactly how it will pan out.
Look! Horses! The Biney’s show up at a horse ranch? Farm? Whatever it is, to go for a trail ride.
While they get fitted for helmets Drew casually mentions that April feels like he’s not giving her enough attention. Well, that’s probably true to some extent, it’s a big family after all and April is soaking in the spotlight for the moment.
While saddling up, April decides now is a good time to remind Drew of his back. It turns out he broke it several years ago but he was told horse back riding would be okay. That sounds almost as legitimate as Dimitri’s promise to not engage in non-marital intimacy.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Auralee is outside with the kids while Angela tries to make 100 sandwiches in time for lunch.
Auralee is hopeful that watching April’s kids while she’s away will soften their relationship. Um, you’ve been dealing with each other for twelve years. I presume you’ve watched her kids before, isn’t that the main selling point of this type of communal lifestyle?
Angela looks like she might actually eat the next child that asks when the food will be ready (fair). She talks about how hard it is being the newest addition and trying to bond with all the other kids while raising her own 1 year-old son with Drew. Sounds like my personal nightmare.
Joselyn and Dimitri meet up for sushi and sake and talk about how alluring the other is (he thinks her eyes are “come hither”. Ew. She likes his smile. Revolutionary).
She tells him he looks nice before asking if Ashley helped him get dressed, which he sheepishly acknowledges. That’s an actually sort of funny exchange which makes me like them both more than is warranted.
When she asks about how he plans on sharing time, Dimitri informs her he’s “one man, with one body” (help my eyes are stuck in the back of my head) but that he doesn’t want a schedule. Listen Dimitri, as a connoisseur of plural family reality and scripted tv (this show, Sister Wives, My Five Wives, Big Love) I can tell you that a schedule is half the reason you will ever have peace. You really want to just decide on the day which wife to spend that night with? Danger Will Robinson, DANGER!
We got an ominous black screen that lets us know that later that night after the camera crew left:
EVEN MORE DANGER! DIMITRI! NO! The other half of peaceful poly-living means respecting your partner’s boundaries. We know that Ashley does not want you looking at Joselyn’s come hither eyes until the three of you have decided to move forward in a committed relationship. Walk away from the 22 year-old Dimitri.
I don’t want to leave bad-decision-island but we head out west to see the Biney’s again.
They’re having a picnic lunch and surprise! Drew’s back hurts because I’m a psychic. I also know you’re definitely not supposed to go horseback riding if you already have back problems. He lays down on the grass and April tries to massage him. I feel bad he’s in pain but more bad that the cameraman clearly hates him because this is not a good angle.
Before his back drama, Drew asked April how things are going at home. She feels very misunderstood by the other wives and oh poor April woe is her. In voiceover Drew states that Auralee and April having had a bad relationship for twelve years and he was hoping Angela’s presence would be able to soften things out.
Ok new rules. You are only allowed to be a polygamist if you first take a course on how women/really all people relate to each other. If two women are fighting the answer is never put another one in the mix! Have you never seen an episode of Real Housewives of anywhere? All you end up with is a clique-y situation and one more person with their feelings hurt. And guess what, if they’ve been having problems for twelve years that’s on you too sir. What exactly is your role in this bad relationship? Also, are you saying you spiritually married another woman to stop you two wives from fighting? Because 1) that’s insane and 2) she’ll probably watch this and be realllllly mad you put her in that position. I hope your back heals soon because they’re about to kick your ass. Go sit in the corner with Dimitri and think about what you’ve done.
Hey remember the Alldrege’s? I barely do they’re so boring. Vanessa is doing a cute baby announcement for the kids. She got them all (there’s 7 kids) team uniforms with their birth order number on it and held up a onesie with the number 8. The kids don’t really get the message but are happy once it’s explained. This type of baby reveal is what happens when you spend too long on Pinterest or Instagram but it’s cute.
Okay back to the Briney’s where April has whisked Drew to the cabin so he can collapse on the floor. They arrive just as Angela calls telling them the tire swing tree branch fell on their daughter and Auralee took her to the hospital. All meanness aside, April is in a tough spot and I feel for her. Her husband’s immobile on the floor while her daughter is in pain elsewhere.
Auralee calls from the hospital with a nurse on the line who asks if April gives her consent for the “babysitter” (Auralee) to be given medical information. April says of course and we get a cutaway explaining why Auralee had to pretend to be the babysitter: they don’t want anyone to know about their lives as they’re concerned it will involve a state investigation and they could go to jail.
Um guys? Yeah, you’re on a tv show airing on a national network. Just a heads up.
Turns out the kid is fine so yay! Auralee thinks this crisis has made them closer together which I’m raising a skeptical eyebrow at. Angela on the other hand is more pragmatic and while hopeful, doesn’t actually think much has changed.
And now for the moment I’ve been waiting for: Dimitri faces Ashley. I’m just going to put in a whole slideshow here (it starts with the photo of her drinking coffee at 8:47 AM):
It appears she lets him live which is clearly a testament to how much she loves him. She’s disappointed in him and he barely takes ownership of his actions. DIMITRI! Do better!
A midwife is coming to the Alldrege’s so they can hear baby number 8’s heartbeat. The kids and Vanessa pile on the bed while the midwife searches for the baby and comes up empty. Vanessa has the kids leave the room while she discusses her options with the midwife.
And the episode is over. Really TLC? That’s the tone you want to end on? I went on the Alldrege family Instagram to see if they posted any group shots with a baby and it doesn’t look like it. That doesn’t mean anything of course, but it’s not optimal. I guess I have to tune in to find out what happens–which let’s be real, I was going to anyways.
Also, this episode is title “13 is enough!” but no one says that or alludes to that. It’s very confusing so I’ve decided it might be a cry for help from the producer or editor. Someone should check on them. I call not it.